Tremontaine S4E8: A City In Crisis, by Karen Lord

In this episode, everyone’s dealing with the aftermath of the flood – and some are thinking about what their future might hold.

Let’s discuss Tremontaine.

 

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Not a lot of action this week – just an awful lot of activity, as residents across the City from the Hill all the way to Riverside deal with the aftermath of the flood. It’s interesting to see the reactions and responses from the various classes, as well as the more intimate looks at how certain characters deal with the incident. Some, like the Duchess Tremontaine, observe the damage from a safe distance while considering the fallout – material and political – and making plans to deal with both. Others are grasping at unexpected opportunities amid all the chaos (looking at you, Salford) while yet more are organising relief efforts (bless you, Rafe). And then you’ve got the ones who are concerned, first and foremost, with their own.

Water, Water, Everywhere

The folk of Riverside don’t have the luxury of simply standing back to keep their feet dry while other people do the work. No one’s coming to help them out – quite literally, with the island being cut off thanks to the floodwaters – so they’ve got to take care of themselves. Good thing they’re used to living that way. It was no surprise to see them taking even a deadly flood in stride, and instead of panicking they’re salvaging goods, organising alternative accommodations for those who need them, even putting up makeshift walkways between buildings above ground level to keep themselves out of the water without being trapped in their homes.

There is, unsurprisingly, no sign of Tess or the Salamander after last week. I am still not OK with this twist, but my curiosity about Arlen’s part in all this is only getting keener. We learn that he did once live in Riverside, and this isn’t the first time he’s experienced something like this? And he intends to make plans to, let’s say, keep the ‘tradition’ of the Salamander alive, even if the one we know is no more?

WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON HERE.

However! The sneaky little implication (at least to my mind) that, just maybe, Charlotte may have a ‘destiny’ she’s not even aware of is an intriguing one.

I definitely need to reread Swordspoint when this is done. That’s going to be interesting. I HOPE. *Looks to camera*

King For a Day(?)

Speaking of unassuming characters and destiny, I am getting more and more excited all the time about the fate of one Lord Basil Halliday. In this case, we know exactly where he’ll end up – but seeing how he gets there is definitely interesting. He gets a standout moment in this episode when he smacks down Lord Ferris (not literally, sadly) for sitting out the effort to salvage and protect the Council Hall by dipping into the wine, taking a nap, and using one of the Crescent Chancellor’s robes as a blanket. Ferris has got ideas. Halliday has no time for his shit. BASIL I LOVE YOU.

And judging by their conversation regarding the matter afterward, while they enjoy some time between the sheets and plot their political machinations, so do Octavian and Diane. These two don’t seem the type to actually bend the knee to anybody, but it’s definitely intriguing to see them recognise Basil’s potential in a way that lends him a little more of that mythical status that’s shadowed him before. From potential sacrifice in last season’s standout episode “Into The Woods”, to the glimmers of Something Truly Special that we see here … It’s one hell of a tease, and maybe he’ll never actually wear a crown but I love this regardless.

Speaking of Octavian. I still have so many questions! What is his goal here, and will he get to see it achieved? Does Diane have that situation under control? I don’t think we’re dealing with another Gregory Davenant, but something is fishy about his behaviour all the same. With as much of this season remaining as there is, I honestly don’t know how it’s all going to play out. AUGH.

Whatever Next?

Not everyone is concerned with politics, though. We get some time with Micah in this episode, and what particularly strikes me about her scenes here is how far she’s come from her beginnings, way back in season one, to now. Season One Micah would never have been this intuitive about people, and while she’s got a long way to go, nonetheless my heart is warmed every time I see her work out a puzzle, as it were.

Compared to everyone around her, Micah’s drama has been notably low-key. I don’t know where she’ll go from here, but in my heart I hope she ends up somewhere where she’ll feel at home while she buries herself in new mathematics puzzles. (CHARTIL I AM HOPING RAFE GOES TO CHARTIL WITH REZA AND THAT SHE GOES WITH THEM.)

So, there’s been a pretty major(ly dramatic) setback in this world of City politics and intrigue, but one good thing has definitely come out of it – with the bridge in progress now gone, Salford’s usefulness has gone the way of all that river debris and there is nothing protecting him from Kaab’s vengeance – now twofold, thanks to his callous murder of David Rook a couple of episodes ago. I wasn’t quite expecting it, but I can’t say it wasn’t gratifying. HOWEVER. We are no closer to knowing how things are going to play out for the Kinwiinik in the City, unless I’m completely missing something that should be obvious about all of that. But I have a feeling there’s a big twist in store there. I just can’t see its direction yet.

So as far as predictions go at this point, all I have is a 50/50 choice between Even More Shocking Developments, or something more quietly insidious and political going down. Given everything we’ve seen over the course of these four seasons, it could really go either way. It is both massively frustrating and really damned impressive that we’re so close to the big finale and I still have so many questions!

Bravo, writers. God damn it.

 

 

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Dear Geek Place is my new home on the internet, though I've been around here before - I am the blogger formerly known as @EffingRainbow. Here, you can still find reviews of science fiction and fantasy books, but hopefully more besides, as I throw myself cheerfully out into the world and attempt to chronicle my experiences, one adventure at a time.

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